The Minnesota Vikings RG spot was so confusing in 2021 that a rookie from Round 3 couldn’t even get a sniff of starting attention.
The Vikings trusted veteran tackle Oli Udoh with right guard duty last season, an experiment that flopped as Udoh finished second in the NFL in penalties, plus a 54.4 score from Pro Football Focus to boot.
Udoh is not slated to play RG in 2022 with a new coaching staff in control of the Vikings, instead likely to pivot back to a role as a reservist OT.
The aforementioned 3rd-Rounder who couldn’t get a real look in 2021 was Wyatt Davis. And now, thanks to multiple possible solutions for the RG fix, Davis is basically a forgotten man in the summer of 2022.
Davis arrived to the Vikings via trade after former general manager Rick Spielman sent the 23rd overall pick in 2021 to the New York Jets for Christian Darrisaw, Kellen Mond, and Davis. The Jets used the selection on guard Alijah Vera-Tucker.
While the trade was championed at the time, the Mond and Davis facets of the transaction didn’t amount to much in 2021, thanks to a reluctance by the former coaching staff to play either man. Now, as a result, Davis may not make the Vikings 53-man roster in September.
New boss Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed two veteran offensive lineman to potentially fill the RG spot, Jesse Davis from the Miami Dolphins and Chris Reed from the Indianapolis Colts. And per June minicamp clues, Jesse Davis is the frontrunner to win the job.
After that, Adofo-Mensah drafted OG Ed Ingram from LSU in the 2nd Round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and 2nd-Round interior offensive linemen have an obligation to start sooner than later. In all likelihood, one of those three — Jesse Davis, Chris Reed, or Ed Ingram — will probably start in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers.
This is nearly a forgone conclusion in the middle of the summer. That makes any enthusiasm for Wyatt Davis almost null and void.
In fairness to Zimmer and his coaches, Wyatt Davis didn’t look too titillating last summer, so this isn’t quite a “grudge” deal as was the case for Kellen Mond. Wyatt Davis, too, may have been out of shape by NFL standards.
There is a chance the Ohio State alumnus impresses this summer and appears grown up from one year ago. If that happens, he can reasonably fill a backup guard role in 2022. But for the man theorized as the long-awaited RG remedy for a few weeks in 2021, Wyatt Davis is close to becoming just a draft story from the Spielman era.
Davis’ mini-rise and fall is particularly strange because some draft pundits forecasted him as eventual 1st-Round talent about two years ago.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).